Tracy's Reviews > Soon I Will Be Invincible

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
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Oct 06, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, heroes-and-heroines, books-i-own, adventure-quest-tales, boy-man-masculine-tales, crime-tales, dramedy, girl-woman-feminine-tales, friendship
Recommended for: Fans of superhero movies
Read from July 22 to August 30, 2015 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Loved this book, though I did have a few issues with it here and there (such as editing. How can Doctor Impossible "feel" how cold it is if he hasn't felt cold since 1976? How can he drag two unconscious superheroes through a prison corridor by the ankles and still have a free hand to attack a line of guards with? That kind of thing.) The novel, two from the dual first-person points-of-view of Doctor Impossible, the villain of the story, and Fatale, the newest "New Champion", a reassembled superhero team. Doctor Impossible, when the novel begins, is obsessed with a few things, like breaking out of prison, taking over the world, battling his nemesis CoreFire, and finally solving that trying Zeta problem that has plagued him since college. Fatale is a female cyborg who has virtually no past; she was made into a cyborg following a horrible accident in Brazil when she was hit and dragged by a dump truck. The accident stripped her of her short-term and long-term memories leading up to it. For a while she worked with the NSA as combat backup, and then later listened to police scanners in order to fight crime, before being asked to join the New Champions by Damsel, the leader of the league.

This novel reminded me of every superhero and supervillain movie, comic book/graphic novel and video game that I'd ever seen, read or played. One that namely comes to mind is "The Incredibles", a movie that pokes gentle fun at the superhero genre while still playing up the seriousness of the story at hand. That's a way I would describe this novel, because while it does use every single superhero genre cliche one way or another, it also expresses its serious love of such a type of story with characters who wear masks and costumes with capes, who either fight crime with an iron fist or make trouble for the do-gooders by constantly trying to take over the world.

The cliches and the off-handed way in which they are related via the eyes of Doctor Impossible or Fatale seem to be this subtle nudge about the genre as a whole: Yes, storylines are often implausible and so far-fetched that suspending disbelief seems no longer possible. But yet, anyone who truly loves a good hero or villain movie/comic book/whatever will usually go the distance and not yell out, "That would NEVER happen!" Of course there will be superheroes or villains made super or evil by lab accidents, or mystical relics, or wild, possibly untrue origin stories. ("Narnia"? Come on!) Of course there will time travel, attempts to change the past or the future to suit some evil course of action, and alien wars, with the world always ending up back in peril, needing a group of heroes to step up.

I found Lily/Erika to be the fun wild card, though I really wished the author would have spent more time with her while she was on Doctor Impossible's island, after having beaten him and refusing to rescue CoreFire. I liked that she wasn't who she said she was, and that she played both sides of the coin, but she was never really a hero or a villain, either out of choice (as she reinvented herself) or lack there of. I would have liked to know more about Fatale, whether she really was a failed Doctor Impossible experiment, and who she was before the cyborg life, but I also deduced that maybe we the readers are only supposed to know as much as Fatale knows, and no more. Still, a bit disappointing. I also would have liked this book to have been a little longer; it seemed like there was more story to tell but the author just cut it short for some reason.

Loved the bulk of the plot overall. The Appendix and SuperPower Timeline were nice ending touches. Further review to follow.
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Reading Progress

07/22/2015 marked as: currently-reading
07/26/2015 page 64
22.0% "Reminds me a bit of "The Incredibles" and "Despicable Me"."
08/03/2015 page 116
40.0% "Makes me think about every superhero movie I've ever seen."
08/31/2015 marked as: read
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